“A Flower That Wouldn’t Bloom” is the third offering from the flower pop super group “Ancient Shapes”. In all realities it is the amalgamation of two recording sessions that took place almost a year apart–– in essence this is the greatest hits compilation.
Ancient Shapes is comprised of Daniel Romano, David Nardi, Vee Bell, Roddy Rosetti and Ian Romano. They have been called “ the best band since computers” and also “incredibly good as hell” when it comes to their live engagements and sock hop shake down events. The group has traveled the world over sharing their songs and ideas with others, now they offer us this: A flower that just refuses to bloom.
Inside this heated material you will find such subjects as sadness, happiness, loneliness, togetherness, longing, acceptance, colonial guilt complexes and home town optimism.
There was the first one, and everyone seemed to like that, and the second one people liked too… this is the third one. Odds are good.
A Flower That Wouldn’t Bloom
October 25, 2019
Are you ready for the new sincerity?! Shotgun Jimmie’s returns with Transistor Sister 2 – a full fledged sequel to the beloved Transistor Sister album from 2011! Jimmie is joined by long-time collaborators Ryan Peters (Ladyhawk) and Jason Baird (DoMakeSayThink) and José Contreras (By Divine Right), who produced and recorded the record in Toronto, Ontario at The Chat Chateaux for an album full of genuine pop gems that champion truth and love.
In characteristic Shotgun Jimmie fashion, the songs on Transistor Sister 2 focus largely on family and friends with a heavy dose of nostalgia. Jimmie’s hyperbolic takes on the everyday reconstruct familiar scenarios, from traffic on the 401 (the beloved and scorned mega-highway through Toronto known to all touring musicians as the place where punctual arrival at soundcheck goes to die) to cooking dinner.
The album’s lead single Cool All the Time is a plea for people to abandon ego and strive for authenticity, featuring contributions by Chad VanGaalen, Steven Lambke and Cole Woods.
“I decided to make a sequel because I loved making the first one. I value the experience of making records as much as the end product. I know that I’m always trying to make something good, but I’m also aware that the process is the thing that I’ll think about and revisit in the future. With this album, I really wanted to recreate the immersive experience of making the original. The first one was recorded in Nova Scotia in a beautiful little town. The session had the feeling of a destination artist residency. We swam in the ocean and watched scientists cut the head off a shark; they were very eventful days. Maybe I also wanted an excuse to hang out with Jay and Ryan for a week. The three of us are spread out across the country, so being together is a rare treat. On the last day of the session we played a rock show at a tiny Toronto club. We literally went straight from the studio to the venue. It was completely packed with pals from all over; it was the best! I played the first Transistor Sister acoustic, then the full band performed Transistor Sister 2 from top to bottom. The show provided our session a very hard deadline and was probably the cause of some studio stress, but it was a perfect magical ending to the week.”
Are you ready for The New Sincerity? Join Jimmie as he renounces cynicism and promotes positivity!
Transistor Sister 2
August 2, 2019
The weather is changing. Rhythms and interactions that had seemed eternal degrade. The realm of the uncertain expands. Uncertainty inspires fear, fear inspires rage. Points of recognition are shifting, points of return becoming rare. The measure of human meaning and dignity has been reduced to discussions of financial gains and losses.
A song can seem a slight thing. Barely there. Unless it is in the midst of being sung or being heard it could be said to exist only in potential or in memory. What is the form of this potential? A balance of words, chords, melody. Balance implies an interaction. The song is the point of balance that is returned to, potential turned into action with intention. In this way the song is the music of ritual. Ritual is the creation of human meaning through repetition.
With Dark Blue, Steven Lambke builds a visceral swirl of narrative images, dense with allusions and invocations, rich with imagery and scene, into a series of creation stories, a document of disruption, a lament for environmental ruin and the destructions of colonialism, and a stubborn evidence of endurance and transcendence. It is a product of this time, a collaborative process between poet and muse, inspiration and scribe, guitar and voice and drum.
The release of Dark Blue marks the 10th anniversary of You’ve Changed Records, the label co-founded in 2009 by Steven Lambke and Daniel Romano. A collaboration yields its own energy. Evocative poetry and guitar work reminiscent of Lambke’s long career with indie legends The Constantines combine with Romano’s multi-instrumental skill and production talents in a music that is sophisticated and immediate, intimate and expansive.
But what act of creation could ever be called complete? The song reacts to the world into which it is sung, and acts on that world. The outcome is never known and the song is not sung the same way twice as everything surrounding it will have changed. The song moves through the world like a rendezvous of atoms.
Begin again. Calling equally to the past and to the future, the song has a double existence as an expression of memory and an expression of hope.
Ian Daniel Kehoe has been hiding in plain sight. A classic songwriter pulling from a seemingly endless supply of hooks, dancing in silver face paint and an assortment of wide shouldered sports jackets, Kehoe appears like an emissary from a better world. Secret Republic is Ian Daniel Kehoe’s debut album, an entirely self-assured first record, ten confident, immaculate pop songs, drenched in analog synth and punchily articulate in their pursuit of love, beauty and rhythm.
Ian Daniel Kehoe will be familiar as the bassist and songwriter in Attack in Black, and for the several records he released as Marine Dreams. He’s been in high demand as a touring musician with Andy Shauf, The Weather Station, and Julia Jacklin.
This is something new. Recorded and performed entirely by Kehoe himself, Secret Republic is an introduction to a world where melody reigns supreme, every love is a true love, and the singer searches endlessly for “prizes through the mazes of the jungles, prizes at the tips of the poles.”
Ian Daniel Kehoe – Secret Republic
March 22, 2019
“Finally Free is a lucid plea. It is a final apology and an attempt at the unwarranted reconciliation between us and everything in our path (including ourselves). It is an exploration of how to cope with the certain end created by our own hand. And/Or, it is the enlightenment of change and the promise of all possibilities in all circumstance. The celebration of all things mystical and unknown. Accepting the unknown with grace and humility, one can illuminate in spirit and trudge forward through the remaining landscape. Maybe even see it’s beauty for the first time.” – Daniel Romano
Daniel Romano – Finally Free
Nov 30, 2018